Rich Charters
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I often see people complain about basic rules question in the rules section of BGG.

I do see the complainer's point. If I see a question like: "how many spaces do I move my piece if I roll a 6 in Monopoly?" I may experience some frustration.

But there is frustration on the other side of this issue as well. Why do people complain about basic rules questions in a section of BGG that is set-up for rules questions?? Even worse, why are people who ask sincere rules questions sometimes berated for not reading the manual before asking their question.

It's pretty clear to me that if someone doesn't want to see questions about game rules, they should not be reading the rules section. If you want to see two categories in BGG: "basic rules questions that can be answered by reading the manual" and "obscure theoretical rules questions that will not likely come up in actual gameplay," then ask BGG to set up two categories for rules post.

But I don't agree with taking a critical stance toward someone who has a sincere question and has turned to BGG for an answer.....this type of sharing is a major value-add of the BGG website. Would we berate someone for consulting a lawyer when all they had to do was study the law for their answer?

Not everyone spends (or wants to spend) as much time with the rule book as those who berate people for asking basic rules questions....for that matter, not everyone can read well.

Personally, I find reading those basic rule posts to be helpful as it confirms my understanding of the game rules.

A pet peeve of mine is when someone responds to a basic rule question, berates the person for asking the question and then does not answer the question.....as if they were somehow punishing the asker by berating them and then holding back the answer.

What are others thoughts on this issue??

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Catesby Wren
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One quickly apprehends that roughly 80% of the questions being asked are obvious and have been explained front and center in the rulebook. This buries genuine rules clarifications in an avalanche of dumb questions.
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Just because they are in the rulebook doesn't mean they are easy to find (Especially if they involve putting together a logic puzzle or finding info from 3 different sections of the book).
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Ray
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You will definitely want to avoid the Hot Deals forum.
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Quote:
What are others thoughts on this issue??


Easy. Board games are my hobby, and like many hobbies half the fun is talking shop. Therefore, I'm always happy to answer any sincere question even if it has been asked before and even if the answer should seem obvious (and yes, even if you are too lazy to look it up.). When you encounter one of these cranky RtfM gatekeepers, my advice is be patient, polite and persistent. Usually a non-dickhead will show up and answer in good faith.
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Joe Kundlak
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One issue I have with people is that they are often lazy and do not use the Search function in the game forum in which they seek a clarification for a rules question.

Many times the exact same question was already asked before (many times twice) and there were answers in the previous topic.

If you ask for a clarification of an obscure rule, I have no issue with that. Only if you are lazy do I take some offense...
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I'm lucky. I'm reasonably well educated, have no information processing problems (like dyslexia), have fairly high information technology literacy (so I know how to search for stuff) and a good command of "netiquette". (Haven't heard that term in a while).

Strange as it may seem not everyone is like this...

So while the thing that annoys me most (if anything) is the same question being asked when it's already been answered, I just shrug and move on. It could be laziness, but so what. We all learn in different ways and more and more people just ask the internet rather than look for the answer themselves. I dont like it too much but being narky isn't going to fix it.
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rayzor6 wrote:
You will definitely want to avoid the Hot Deals forum.

Only 76% off!? PFFT. This game was 77.2% off once. Not a hot deal!
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John B
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not using search implies (to me) that poster's time is more important than replier's time.
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Richard Irving
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Statalyzer wrote:
Just because they are in the rulebook doesn't mean they are easy to find (Especially if they involve putting together a logic puzzle or finding info from 3 different sections of the book).


If this is the case, then is it is not a BASIC rules question, is it?
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One reason it's so hard to find whether the question has been asked before is all the posts with meaningless subject lines:

Quick question
I have a question
A couple questions

Some rules forums are filled with them. That means opening each one to see whether it's my question.

Before I ask, I always reread the rule book, but sometimes I miss something. Then I check the rules forum for it, including opening each of those with generic subjects.

I get more frustrated with someone who doesn't post a meaningful subject than with someone who misses (or misreads) something in the rule book.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Schoolmarm5 wrote:
One reason it's so hard to find whether the question has been asked before is all the posts with meaningless subject lines:

Quick question
I have a question
A couple questions

Some rules forums are filled with them. That means opening each one to see whether it's my question.

Before I ask, I always reread the rule book, but sometimes I miss something. Then I check the rules forum for it, including opening each of those with generic subjects.

I get more frustrated with someone who doesn't post a meaningful subject than with someone who misses (or misreads) something in the rule book.


I would be in favor of a policy where rules questions with useless subjects get held for moderation until the title has been edited to actually state an abridged form of the question.
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Randy C
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I have no problem with the questions.
I do wish the poster would use the subject line so its useful.
I myself limit one question per post, with a meaningful subject line.


Another take: When I consider a game for purchase I do not consider the average rating.
I look at the amount of rules questions.
If a lot of questions, that means a lot of players are playing, that means the game is fun.
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Michael Dillenbeck
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1. I sometimes just browse the game's forum, and thus all posts are listed. There is no "list all except forum X" option that I am aware of, only browse all posts or one specific forum post. Yes, they are labelled as rules forum posts, but sometimes you are just looking at titles.

2. Some of the questions posted show that the asker is either an idiot or lazy. It can be as simple as "how many actions each turn does a player get in Pandemic" (when that is not only presented clearly on the rules but also the turn summary on the game board), and that means the person didn't even bother trying to understand the rules; other times it shows they haven't bothered looking for their answer online (for example, when Eldritch Horror came out I tried being active on its forums and citing the section of the rules in my replies, but there were repeated questions that came up over and over and over again... questions that had they just bothered to do the basic research work themselves, they could have answered by reading another post). It they are idiots, answering won't help - and if they are lazy, then you are just an enabler.

3. Sometimes the questions show they haven't spent any time with the rulebook. They probably treated it like a video game, pulling out the bits and trying to play without looking at the rules. Do they bother watching a tutorial video or reading other posts? No. They can't be bothered to put in the work to learn a game, and so they use the rules forums as their personal tutor.

4. I get not berating a person and failing to answer, but try it some time. Pick the new hot release that everyone plays, get a copy, learn the rules, and then hang out in the forums answering questions. You'll go insane pretty quick. Heck, I gave up on Eldritch Horror's forum when I found after a month I'd be answering the same questions over and over. People probably think publicly shaming stupid or lazy people would change their behavior, but it doesn't.

5. Making 2 separate subforums won't work. Why? You'd need moderator enforcement, and that means people checking this stuff. Imagine how slow BGG would become on posting - people would just go to places like Reddit or such to get answers when a post won't appear for a month. Its an unrealistic solution, and not one I'd like to see implemented.

Basically, you have two choices - grit your teeth and answer the same questions over and over with a smile, or bitch about it. Whatever you do, the stupid & lazy people will still come here expecting the rules forums to act as a personal tutor for a game. It sucks. I recommend try to be nice or don't bother answering, and if seeing grumpy people in the answers irks you then don't read the rules section anymore.
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Curt Carpenter
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Why do people complain about people complaining?
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Calxx55 wrote:
Another take: When I consider a game for purchase I do not consider the average rating.
I look at the amount of rules questions.
If a lot of questions, that means a lot of players are playing, that means the game is fun.


OTOH, seeing a lot of rules questions could also mean the rulebook is badly written and unclear as to how one actually should play the game.
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Verbosity wrote:
3. Sometimes the questions show they haven't spent any time with the rulebook. They probably treated it like a video game, pulling out the bits and trying to play without looking at the rules. Do they bother watching a tutorial video or reading other posts? No. They can't be bothered to put in the work to learn a game, and so they use the rules forums as their personal tutor.
I've read a whole lot of forum posts where people talk about teaching games. When my family gets a new game, we generally all read the rule book, or (if we want to play right now) someone will start reading it aloud as we punch, sleeve, and set it up--this is frowned upon on BGG.

It's quite possible that some of the people asking have never actually considered reading the rule book. They went to game night, where someone taught them the game and answered all their questions. They enjoyed the game, so they went out and bought it. Now they are trying to teach other people, but they don't remember all the rules (or remember some incorrectly). Or they may be playing it with someone who was also taught, and doesn't remember, or remembers incorrectly--now they disagree about how to play, but there is no teacher to ask.

If people are only accustomed to learning by being taught, it might not even occur to them to look it up.
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Ryan Keane
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johnb4bgg wrote:
not using search implies (to me) that poster's time is more important than replier's time.


If a replier posts a snarky comment, then they proved that that poster’s, who asked an honest question without searching, time IS more valuable. If someone asks an obvious question I don’t want to answer, I ignore it.

Note that BGG has a horrible search system. The best way to find relevant rules threads is google, but that’s also not great when a thread is many pages long.

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David Buckley
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Calxx55 wrote:
I have no problem with the questions.
I do wish the poster would use the subject line so its useful.
I myself limit one question per post, with a meaningful subject line.


Another take: When I consider a game for purchase I do not consider the average rating.
I look at the amount of rules questions.
If a lot of questions, that means a lot of players are playing, that means the game is fun.


Or that the rulebook sucks....
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Candace Mercer
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Sometimes I have read and reread the rulebook, and my eyes and brain are glazed, and I need a helping geek. Every now and then I have asked a couple "DUH" ones, in retrospect I was blind, or I was overthinking the rule, that I am guilty of. There is one other situation I have used it, is during a session, where I don't have time to wade through pages and pages.

I do try to use the search feature though. It covers a lot of territory. It did take me a bit to figure out the best way to use it.

Posting passive aggressive things or snarky things, ugh, why bother!

I wish I was able to step up more often, if I see a thread I can add to, I get super excited! Usually I am beaten to the punch...
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J J
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The obvious questions don't bother me so much as the questions that get asked in General Gaming instead of the forum for the game in question.

But what are you going to do, try to police every post on the internet? That way madness lies (as does allowing yourself to be upset by it).
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My favorite is when people act indignant while spending more time writing out some string of insults and orders to "search for it" when they could have written a simple 'yes' or 'no'.

Why be a decent person when you can take the time to show off how much you know by keeping it to yourself?
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Schoolmarm5 wrote:
One reason it's so hard to find whether the question has been asked before is all the posts with meaningless subject lines:

Quick question
I have a question
A couple questions

Some rules forums are filled with them. That means opening each one to see whether it's my question.

Before I ask, I always reread the rule book, but sometimes I miss something. Then I check the rules forum for it, including opening each of those with generic subjects.

I get more frustrated with someone who doesn't post a meaningful subject than with someone who misses (or misreads) something in the rule book.
Exactly, I try not to ask questions that have been asked before but so many users are not specific on what they are looking for. Many times I miss something in the rules. don't know how that happened but I just did not see it for some reason. Guess I am not as perfect as those who are so critical of less than perfect individuals
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keso55 wrote:
Exactly, I try not to ask questions that have been asked before but so many users are not specific on what they are looking for. Many times I miss something in the rules. don't know how that happened but I just did not see it for some reason. Guess I am not as perfect as those who are so critical of less than perfect individuals


Excellent, you're just the person I want to ask...

Out of sheer curiosity alone (because I don't tend to miss rules, so I want to understand how things work with you), and without (I hope) any form of condescension or accusation (because I dislike the arseholes who post insults instead of answers far more than I dislike "stupid" questions):

How long do you look for one of these rules that you just can't see before you ask on BGG?
 
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richcharters wrote:
Why do people complain about basic rules questions in a section of BGG that is set-up for rules questions??

I believe there is a distinction between "Help me with this rule that I don't understand" and "help me with this rule that I was too lazy to look up for myself". And yes, the latter does bother me.


Quote:
Even worse, why are people who ask sincere rules questions sometimes berated for not reading the manual before asking their question.

I am wary about how you distinguish which ones are "sincere".

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